Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beautiful Bali (and an underwater NOTD)!

Hi everyone! I'm backkkkk....... since yesterday! I do love Singapore and returning home after a holiday. Bali was beautiful, absolutely gorgeous, but darn did I miss my food. Salt seems to be free in Indonesia, almost everything we ate was incredibly salty.

I spent my week there in Tulamben, Amed, Padangbai, Sanur and Kuta. Kuta is awfully touristy. Everything there is just jacked up prices and it's so incredibly dusty. Sanur's somewhat touristy too, but not as bad.

In Tulamben, I dived the liberty wreck, it's actually the USAT Liberty, a transport ship of the US Navy that was sunk during the war, and was hauled ashore after that. It got dragged into the water during a really big storm, and so it's an underwater wreck. According to my dive guide, it's the only wreck in the world that can be dived from the shore, meaning you can just wade offshore and see the wreck. I don't know if that's true, but it's awesome that you could just wade offshore and see a wreck. It was also my first time diving a wreck and it's so cool!

Anyway here are some pictures of my time there. First up is my underwater NOTD:


I've got other underwater shots of my nails, but they aren't with me right now. I'll show it to you later on!

Breakfast by the sea

A lazy starfish

Inside the liberty wreck, me and the bf

Pygmy Seahorse. Can you spot it? It's less than 1cm big!

Nudibranch

Big big jellyfish

Lionfish! I glimpsed its distinctive fins from above, and swam under this metal cage thing where it was perched upside down to get a picture. There's a metal cage thingy because it's an artificial reef.

The bf on a really large coral

Blue ribbon eel

Hawksbill turtle. Did you know that it's critically endangered? Surprising, since I saw 3 of them altogether!

Can you spot the octopus? 

A visit to Ubud, where we checked out the monkey forest. Monkeys everywhere running amok! Ubud is the place where the author of Eat Pray Love found love. Or so I've heard, haven't read it or watched it yet. Ubud is beautiful, but also becoming touristy already.

One of the better meals there- fried duck!

We also went to this area called Jimbaran for seafood one evening. Damn it was the worst experience ever. Expensive, and completely below average. I was sorely pissed since it cost a lot to arrange transport to get there, and for the food. I've never had worst tasting seafood, it was not fresh despite being displayed raw to us, the sauces were decent, but without them the food fell flat. The prawns could barely be peeled out of their shell, such stale nonsense we were served. Don't ever visit Jimbaran.

One tip if you're ever in Bali, transport's awfully expensive, count on spending at least USD30 to 50 for a private car to go anywhere, and that's cheaper than taxis since taxi drivers will not use the meter. Those private drivers are also paid to make recommendations, so don't trust what they recommend you. I went to that particular restaurant in Jimbaran because my driver recommended it, and it was obvious that he was getting a tip from them because he kept saying that others were never as good and he drove us right into the restaurant carpark and the moment we got out, waitresses would practically push us in. Another driver who drove us to Ubud also got visibly annoyed when we told him we didn't want to stop by any of the silver/batik/stone-carving factories on the way. Just like in Thailand, they get paid just to bring you there, and another commission if you buy anything. He also started ignoring us after we turned down his suggestion for a spa. Even the receptionist at the hotel recommended a particular spa. He was so sneaky about it. The hotel had its own spa, which the receptionists were supposed to recommend because of (I guess) some kind of contract. But when we asked about outside spas, he lowered his voice and leaned close and said he knew of a better spa outside that would offer a "more complete package" (whatever that meant) and would deliver the pamphlet to our rooms. 

Bali is horribly touristy, sometimes the number of white people in certain areas would outnumber the locals, and I don't even mean in Kuta. Even in Ubud, or Tulamben. It's just not as relaxing as I hoped for because tourists would draw in touts who wouldn't go away. However, the scenery is beautiful, the waters are clear and clean, the padi fields are gorgeous, and most people are nice. My dive guide was really reliable, friendly, and most locals also speak decent English. 

I had a lovely time in Bali, I may sneak in the occasional pictures subsequently too if you don't mind. This is a really long rambling post, I hope you did enjoy reading it too!

5 comments:

  1. Insanely AWESOME! It sounds like an awesome trip thank you for sharing (I live vicariously through others lol)

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  2. Great u love Bali! Im proud as Indonesian women who ever lived in Bali before i move to US. I understand about how driver would trick tourist and take them to their own choice restaurants, spas or anywhere just to get tip. Also they are really pushy. Thats really annoying yeah. But that how they get more money from. But i agree, the view and places in Bali naturally beautiful and i really missing beaches and nature there!

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  3. Thank you turtlechick! I do that too!

    YoannitaL, Bali is so gorgeous! Indonesians are so lucky, there are so many wonderful places to dive in your country!

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  4. awesome pics! I love the underwater NOTD - great idea :)

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